My friends will all tell you that I’m a probiotic pusher. They have all heard me say on multiple occasions that everyone should be on a probiotic, regardless of whether or not you have digestive issues. Probiotics benefits are many, and it seems that more research is being done on them every day.
Knowing what we do about how they can help the body, it makes me crazy how many physicians do not suggest them to patients, but are more than happy to prescribe a daily pill instead. But I guess that’s another gripe for another blog post.
Despite my consistent cheering about probiotics benefits, several of my friends still don’t take them regularly. Nor does my husband (the guy who does have gastrointestinal issues) for that matter. They continue to wait, not sure if it’s worth the effort. But if it can’t hurt and could help, isn’t it worth a try?
Well, new research shows that probiotics, the ‘good bacteria’ in the stomach, may help to reduce body weight and body mass index (BMI). Can you hear me NOW, friends and husbands?
According to a recent analysis published in the International Journal of Food Sciences and Nutrition, researchers out of China combined the findings of 25 trials investigating the impact of probiotic consumption on body weight and BMI in over 1,900 healthy adults. They found that taking probiotics reduced BMI and body weight, with the greatest reduction in BMI occurring in overweight adults.
People often ask me which probiotic to take. The way probiotics benefits are marketed can be confusing, so it’s understandable that many people don’t know which brand to purchase or where to start. My response is always that it’s hard to recommend one without knowing the individual’s needs and history. Purchase from a brand you trust, and tell your medical practitioner before starting any new supplements, as he or she may have excellent suggestions on how to administer it best to suit your needs.
And before you ask – NO, the yogurt kind does not count. It is certainly better than nothing, but yogurt is not quite what I’m talking about. It isn’t enough.
I personally believe that it is best to take a probiotic that contains multiple strains of good bacteria, and no less than 25 million IU’s (organisms). This is the one I’ve been taking. It’s from NOW Foods, and contains 10 probiotic strains and 10 billion organisms. It’s also vegan, dairy, wheat and gluten free. It comes in capsules or packets.
The results of this new research analysis are in line with my thinking. They found that ingesting more than one type of probiotic and taking probiotics for 8 weeks or more resulted in increased weight loss. While the amount of weight loss seen was small, even a minimal reduction in weight can have a hug impact on public health. Not only may people start to feel better, the results could help to reduce weight-related diseases such as Type 2 diabetes and high blood pressure. Plus, probiotics benefits include potential gastrointestinal, behavioral and immunological improvements too.
We all have strains of live bacteria in our gut. In fact, there may be up to 400 bacterial species in our bodies. Yet, that healthy bacteria can be altered by factors such as diet, pesticides, stress, toxins, and antibiotics. They can turn the good bacteria to bad bacteria, and even change interactions between the brain and gut. Since 70-80% of our immune cells are located in the gut, to keep our bodies healthy we need to focus on our gut health.
That’s where probiotics benefits come in. Probiotics are strains of live bacteria that help us maintain a healthy digestive system. These strains of good live bacteria enter the system, and work to reset the gastrointestinal tract. This helps the body become stronger, which can lead to a stronger immune system, less illness, fewer bacterial infections, less acne, more stable moods, and more.
Sorry friends, but the known and potential probiotics benefits are enough for me to keep pushing them on you. Just know that it’s all done with good intentions! So why not give them a try? You’ll feel better, get me to stop bugging you, and you may even see that pesky scale move too!
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